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Published: September 9th 2019
On the shore of Lake Windermere. It is easy to get to from the ferry.
With 4 days to spare between my tickets at Old Trafford and My tickets and the Oval I had no real plans until quite recently. There was the possibility of another game of cricket in the UK with Rich, but at the wedding I was talking to one of Richie’s cricketing mates, Brett, who still plays and he said, “Why would you want to do that again? You’ve already played cricket in England.” So, I decided to go to the Lake District up north. I came without any real preconceptions and what I found was a little like the Cotswolds in that there are some very pretty little towns. But that wouldn’t have kept me entertained for the three nights I had booked. There was also a lot to see in the great outdoors. I arranged a mountain bike to hire fore the first two days of my stay and picked it up from the shop next to the train station. Jumped straight on and rode to my accommodation with two backpacks, weighing 15 kg between them. Why did it have to be at the top of a hill? I put the bags down and got straight outside again and saw
Coniston Cricket Club
I like the back drop, but the outfield is not flat and I watched for a while. The pitch is terrible too.
some great scenery; lakes, streams, hills and stone houses dotted all over the landscape. I found an enormous camp ground with lots of tents and campervans. I was told it was much busier the week before, when it was still school holidays. I’m so glad that I took up cycling seriously a little over a year ago, as the hills were challenging and I really needed the mobility to explore this area thoroughly.
If you’re looking for pretty villages to wander, I recommend Hawkshead. There are lots of others too and some people access these by bus. But the good barmaid in Hawkshead put the cricket on the TV for me so I could see Australia’s progress as we sought victory in the 4th
test, before I continued on my way to some bike trails near Grizedale. There is also a ferry to cross Lake Windermere (I’m told it is England’s largest lake) and lots of people use this fun means of transport to access the great trails to the West of the lake. It was on the ferry that I met a serious cyclist who gave me the tip about Grizedale.
After my two days of riding
I got the bike back to the shop and made it to a pub in Windermere where a few people were watching the last session of the test. Dave, the nuclear submarine designer (they are built on the coast not far from here) was as keen as I to see the game, but I was the one cheering when it was all over. So, Dave wanted to beat me at something and we had to go to another pub with a pool table, where he got his revenge. We ended up having more pints than his wife thought was a good idea and she finally dragged him home after he told me about a great hike/climb that I should do. So that is exactly what I did the next day.
Helvellyn is England’s third highest mountain, which doesn’t mean it is very high, only 950 metres. But to get to the top you can go along a ridge called Striding Edge, which has precipitous drops on either side. It is stunning scenery. To get back there is a so-called easier way, Swindler’s Edge. This day out is up there as one of the highlights of my trip so far.
It is a magical place and a few people climb it but not so many that you feel your space being invaded. You might see people once every hour or so. After riding and climbing for three days I’m pretty tired and I think I need to head down to ‘Vinegar Jones’ for some fish ‘n’ chips. With a name like that, I just have to give it a try.
That brings me to the end of three eventful days in Lakes District. Tomorrow I head back to Rippingale to see Rich and Ness again. From there I head to the Oval, London for the 5th
and final test.
Only one week until I see Leanne and Nathan in Malta!!!!!
PS. There are some funny words in this part of the England. For instance a beck is a river and a tarn is a small lake high up in the hills.
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